Buswell Memorial Library
Welcome to the recruitment page for our current opening on the library faculty.
Buswell Memorial Library
Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois
Wheaton College seeks a librarian with expertise in cataloging and metadata, and the ability and desire to contribute broadly on campus as a library faculty member, to join us in this important role.
About Wheaton College
Established in 1860 as a co-ed institution, Wheaton is an evangelical Protestant liberal arts college, where the pursuit of faith and learning is taken seriously. In the words of our mission statement, “Wheaton College serves Jesus Christ and advances His Kingdom through excellence in liberal arts and graduate programs that educate the whole person to build the church and benefit society worldwide.”
Approximately 2,500 undergraduate and 500 graduate students study each year at Wheaton, from all U.S. states and many other countries. The college offers BA and BSc degrees in more than twenty fields, master’s-level programs in five fields, and doctoral programs in two (biblical and theological studies, and clinical psychology). The Conservatory of Music offers BMus and BMusEd programs. The student-faculty ratio at the college is 12:1.
Our faculty and staff members affirm a Statement of Faith and the moral and lifestyle expectations of our Community Covenant. Wheaton College complies with federal and state guidelines of nondiscrimination in employment.
Wheaton College’s 80-acre campus is located in Wheaton, a suburb of greater Chicago, twenty-five miles west of the downtown “Loop.” A commuter rail line passes close to the college, providing easy access to Chicago. The City of Wheaton was established as a small railroad community in the 1850s and is now home to 55,000 residents. It offers excellent schools, a large variety of churches, a “top ten” public library, many shops and restaurants, and 52 parks.
About Buswell Memorial Library (Top)
As the shared center of intellectual inquiry at Wheaton College, Buswell Library’s mission is to provide access to academic resources in physical and electronic form, foster skilled and confident use of these resources, and promote community on the Wheaton campus. During the last ten years, the library has increased its emphasis on instruction as it has continued to build its collections, following the paradigm of the “teaching library.” Buswell has recently undergone a very successful ten-year review and enjoys widespread support on the Wheaton campus. We are gaining an increasingly reputation within the greater Chicago area for our innovations in collection development, use of technology, and library organization.
The library’s nine faculty and fifteen staff positions are arranged into three functional groups: Operations (responsible for acquisitions, circulation, budget, and facilities), Teaching & Outreach (reference, instruction, outreach, academic technology, and assessment), and Resource Description & Digital Initiatives (cataloging and metadata, preservation, and digital initiatives). In addition, we use cross-functional teams to advance the library’s activities in several important areas. The Collections Team, for example, is responsible for making decisions regarding collection development.
In addition to the collections and services that are made available via our web site, the library is physically present at two locations on campus. The main library building, which underwent an extensive renovation in 2006, contains an information commons, general collections, study areas, teaching space, and a café. The College Archives and Special Collections, located in the Billy Graham Center, contains an archival reading room, secure storage for special materials, and study areas. Although the library continues to undergo rapid changes as we move into an increasingly digital environment, use of our physical space and collections remain high in comparison to that of our peer institutions.
Buswell is a member of the Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries of Illinois, which shares a catalog of more than 12 million bibliographic records. The library provides local access to 650,000 physical items, 34,000 e-books, and 5,500 print or electronic journal subscriptions, as well as the vast resources of the CARLI consortium in Illinois and traditional interlibrary loan. Our special collections are particularly large and notable for a library of our size. We spend just over $1 million a year on our print and electronic collections.
Our most recent annual report provides a summary of recent activities and accomplishments. One project that is currently underway is particularly relevant to our open position. We are experimenting with “shelf-ready” cataloging, in collaboration with YBP, our primary book vendor. Our intention is to streamline the routine cataloging of our general collections in order to provide more capacity for in-house cataloging and record enhancement of our special collections and materials supporting our graduate programs.
Buswell Library works closely with several other departments of the college. I.T. Services provides network and desktop support. Academic & Media Technology supports Blackboard courseware, equipment circulation, and media creation. The Billy Graham Archives contains the papers of American evangelistic and missionary agencies and copies of the papers of Billy Graham. The Marion E. Wade Center is a major research collection of materials by and about seven British authors, including C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Dorothy L. Sayers.
The Position (Top)
This position reports formally to the College Librarian (library director) and informally to the library faculty member who leads the Resource Description and Digital Initiatives group. Academic rank and salary will be dependent upon qualifications. The college offers excellent benefits, including mortgage assistance and tuition assistance for employees’ children enrolled in college.
As is the case with all librarian positions at Wheaton, this position has both a faculty role and a professional role in a particular area of library expertise. The percentage of time dedicated to each area, as shown below, is an estimate and may change as the needs of the library evolve.
- Professional Role (70%)
This librarian is responsible for providing leadership for the resource description of non-continuing resources (print and electronic monographs) and supervises two full-time paraprofessional Resource Description Associates. He/she applies national and local cataloging rules, standards, and practices using OCLC and Voyager. The librarian evaluates and proposes workflow improvements and keeps up to date with best practices. He/she performs original and complex-copy cataloging and metadata across numerous format types. He/she ensures the authority and maintenance of the library catalog (Voyager), particularly for subject headings, monitors authority reports and resolves database problems, and uses system and customized reports to identify maintenance and cleanup projects. As noted above, Buswell operates within a consortial catalog environment. He/she has the technology skills that enable full use of available technologies that can be applied to workflows and new tasks, ensuring best practices. All librarians are expected to engage in ongoing professional development, contribute actively to group-wide and library-wide plans and objectives, and lead and/or participate in cross-functional library teams.
- Faculty Role (30%)
All members of the library faculty participate in the library’s reference and instruction programs and serve as liaisons to selected academic departments. Liaison work is coordinated via a peer-led Liaison Team and involves resource selection (collection development), discipline-based instruction in library/research skills, and relationship-building with faculty and students majoring in the discipline. All librarians also serve several hours a week the information desk (this may involve evening or Saturday hours).
Librarians at Wheaton are expected to have the aptitude and desire to participate broadly on campus as faculty members. This includes such activities as participation in faculty governance (faculty meetings and committees) and student mentoring.
Library faculty members at Wheaton College hold a modified form of faculty status. Their employment status is similar to the faculty in the disciplines in that the librarians are granted a faculty rank (Assistant, Associate, full), dependent upon qualifications; they may seek promotion in rank by meeting the requirements for each rank; they receive annual employment contracts; and they participate in the faculty evaluation process. Their employment status is dissimilar to the faculty in the disciplines in that the librarians work full-time year-round; their fringe benefits include vacation and other forms of leave; they do not receive tenure or sabbaticals; and their salaries are set according to a different benchmarking process.
Desired Qualifications (Top)
While we recognize that no candidate may have all of these desired qualifications, the following list represents our ideal description of the person we are seeking to fill this important role.
- A personal and living evangelical Protestant faith that is consonant with Wheaton College’s theological distinctives as expressed in our Statement of Faith and Community Covenant
- Strong commitment to teamwork and collegiality in the workplace, excellent communication skills, personal flexibility, a strong work ethic, and commitment to modeling these qualities to others
- MLS or equivalent degree from an ALA-accredited program (or foreign equivalent) and at least five years of full-time experience in cataloging/metadata following completion of the MLS degree
- Additional graduate degree(s), academic interests, or accomplishments that demonstrate an ability and desire to contribute to the academic lives of Wheaton’s faculty and students
- A commitment to Christian liberal arts education and a lively interest in the contemporary trends and issues facing higher education and academic libraries
- Aptitude for the leadership of resource description for non-continuing resources (print and electronic monographs), which involves the ability to think about the big picture as well as the details, reflect on and evaluate trends and developments, and make plans for the future of resource description in Buswell
- Prior experience as a library faculty member in an institution of higher education
- Experience and aptitude in teaching in an academic library context
- Experience and aptitude in supervision
- Strong technology skills
- Ability to catalog French and German works
The position is currently vacant and we desire to fill it as soon as possible. We will negotiate a mutually agreeable start date with the successful candidate.
To Apply (Top)
Please send your cover letter and resume to Lisa Richmond, College Librarian, at Lisa.Richmond@wheaton.edu. Please note the following:
- Please use your cover letter to tell us in clear and specific terms how you meet some or all of the desired qualifications listed above. Provide specific evidence or examples where possible.
- Please send your cover letter and resume in one file (using Word, PDF, or other common format) and include your surname in the file name. This will greatly help us with file management at our end. Thank you.
Applications will be received until the position is filled, with the submission deadline for initial review being December 1, 2013. Promising candidates will be sent the Wheaton College faculty application. All application materials will be held in confidence. Thank you for your interest in joining us at Wheaton College.